Johnny Kitagawa Passes Away at 87 After Founding Japan’s Most Successful Male Idol Agency Including SMAP and Arashi

It’s the end of an era, both with how entertainment now works and the fitting conclusion for a J-ent titan. Johnny Kitagawa passed away today at the age of 87, best known for the 1982 founding of agency Johnny’s Entertainment which went on to create Japan’s most incredible streak of hit male idol groups. Included are SMAP, Arashi, TOKIO, Tackey & Tsubasa, V6, KAT-TUN, NEWS, Hey! Say! Jump!, Kis-MY-Ft2, and King & Prince with many more I can’t summon off the top of my head. Johnny’s singlehandedly created the men’s side of J-pop as we know it and also is responsible for the careers of stars Kimura Takuya, Matsumoto Jun, Yamashita Tomohisa, Kamenashi Kazuya, Nishikido Ryo, Sakurai Sho and countless others. I feel like Johnny’s artists and groups were my formative to adult years, it’s crazy to see his torch finally pass. Continue reading